Powder coating as a rust treatment is not understood by the public. I like powder coated bike racks but I don’t like the way powder coated bike racks are marketed to consumers. Many cut-price merchants sell powder coated bike racks – they refer to ‘tough’ or ‘durable’ powder coating. The emphasis of these merchants is to make a product as cheap as possible and sell them in bulk.
The problem is that eventually the powder coating will chip or crack and expose the steel core to the elements. The raw steel will quickly start to rust, but usually after the warranty period. If it is after the warranty period then the consumer is usually stuck.
You see the problem is that powder coating does not (by itself) protect steel against rust. It is the same as painting your garage without undercoat or laying carpet without underlay. It may look OK, but quickly deteriorates.
Our bike racks are plated with zinc before we apply the powder coat. This is done to prevent the steel from rusting even if the powder coat top layer is damaged in any way. In addition the bike rack is thoroughly cleaned before the zinc is applied. Any residue of grease, oil or dirt is removed resulting in a higher quality finish than if we just apply powder coat to raw steel.
When should you use powder coated bike racks? Indoors powder coating is perfectly OK. If you live in a dry climate then powder coating over zinc plating will be OK outdoors. Zinc plating should not be used near the ocean as it should not be exposed to salt. (If you live near the sea then you’ll notice that cars parked near the beach get body rust much sooner than cars parked further inland). We use Elite Plating for all our plating requirements!!